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A Horse Blog

This is A Horse Blog. A companion to HorsesintheSouth.com, but instead of an equine news publisher, this site will be for my own article writings, tangents, musings and general stuff.

I have been wanting to make this blog since 2009 but never had time to. HorsesintheSouth.com took too much time, riding/caring for my own horse, health (two shoulder replacements – arrgh!), living way out in the country, yard work, landscaping, gardening, mowing – need I say more?

But now I’m retired or (semi-retired) and have a bit more time! Yea! So here goes …

Since this is a new website as of mid-July 2022, the base or skeleton design, general setup and a few posts (content) have been done. I have a lot more content to add, plus a ton of new and old images, so stay in touch to see new content. Be sure to follow my social media accounts below as they will be updated with text and links as new content is added.

Panimetro Corriendo a.k.a. Metro

I got Metro sometime around 2008. He was a rescue from St. Thomas, Virgin Islands. He was a Thoroughbred ex-racehorse who had broken his right front leg in a race. He was smart enough to lie down for most of a year for it to heal.

Metro looking out of his barn door.

Panimetro was a companion horse for my mare, Rocki. Before I got him, he was cared for by VICCTRE – Virgin Islands Community Cooperative Thoroughbred Retirement Effort. He was adopted from Habitat for Horses in a cooperative with VICCTRE in March of 2007 just after he was brought here from the Virgin Islands.

Metro was such a character and loved people! He would run around, buck and play and would jump over a water puddle in front of his paddock that would fill up when it rained a lot. Both horses had wonderful stalls with fans and open access to paddocks. Each had their own pasture that the paddock gate opened into. They got fed 3 times a day plus a lot of loving and TLC, so they were in “horse heaven.”

Panimetro Corriendo racing.

Metro’s Injury

During a race, he suffered four major fractures in his left front ankle, an injury similar to Barbaro’s—the Kentucky Derby winner that was euthanized due to complications in the healing of his leg. Metro could have met the same sad fate, but he was able to heal himself by lying down for long periods over a year and a half and allowing caretakers to attend to him. There was some calcification in the fetlock, but it had healed enough for him to be a horse.

Metro – on the cover, inside, and as the December horse on the 2009 VICCTRE calendar.

Metro was on the cover, inside, and as the December horse on the 2009 VICCTRE calendar. You’ll see him running around still like a racehorse, even with his injured left front leg! Sadly, Metro passed in the Fall of 2011. His leg finally gave away. He is buried in my back pasture. I cried so much over this…

An Overview from 1970 to 2009 – Mecca, Sunny, and Rocki

I married my son Jason’s father, Mark Ellerbee, in early 1970 while I was still a student at FSU. We moved to Nashville in the summer of 1970 and Mark got a job with the Oak Ridge Boys as their drummer and backup vocalist. Jason was born at the end of 1970. After I had another son in 1973 (who died in 1988), I bought my own ¾ Arab/ ¼ Quarter Horse cross, 2½-year-old stallion (originally named Major, but I changed it to Mecca), which I trained and showed locally. I showed my horse and other horses in Western Pleasure, Equitation, and Hunt Seat, even placing 11th in the hunt seat class at the 1978 Appaloosa Nationals on a gorgeous black, blanket-spotted stallion I rode for a client. I also rode another gorgeous Palomino stallion in Western Pleasure and a young 16.2hh Appaloosa gelding in Western Pleasure and Hunt Seat.

In 1980, Mark and I divorced amicably and I moved back to my home in Jacksonville, FL (without Mecca – I sold him the year before I moved from Nashville since I had gone back to college to finish my degree). In 1983, I finally completed my college degree in Computer Information Systems (CIS). I didn’t ride during this time as I was always in class, studying, in the computer lab doing assignments, working part-time at the college as the Psychology department’s system analyst, and taking care of my small children when I was home. (I was lucky to have my mother take care of them when I wasn’t around.)

After I graduated and started working in my career, I occasionally rode friends’ horses off and on. I married my husband Jerry Rehkopf in 1992 and he made the ‘mistake’ one night of telling me that I should get a horse when I was ardently explaining to him how a horse canters on their leads. So, the search began and I finally got another horse – an ex-racehorse Quarter Horse named ‘Sunny’. I began riding him in Dressage and later in hunters and jumpers.

The 1st horse I got after brain surgery – TB/Quarter Horse racehorse.

I sold Sunny in 1995 just a couple of months after I got my mare which I named Glenord’s Rocket Dancer – Clan Butter Glenrod’s Glened x Rocket To Antares; her barn name was Rocki. She was a 2½-year-old. Rocki’s sire (now deceased) was a champion Budweiser Clydesdale and her dam was a racing TB/Appaloosa, whose bloodline went back to Native Dancer, hence her name, Glenord’s Rocket Dancer, barn name of Rocki (originally spelled Rockey, later spelled with an ‘i’ at the end so it’s female sounding, lol).

Claire Lee of what is now Haddenloch Farm (used to be Dexter Farm) first backed Rocki while I was healing from having 6 cracked ribs from a fall off of Sunny when I missed a tight turn to a jump (a perpendicular jump that was higher than I was used to and looked too late to next jump, so I turned Sunny into the jump standard and fell onto the hard sand – ouch!). I had experienced a couple of other falls on the fast Sunny with associated injuries, so I had to promise my employer that I wouldn’t jump anymore, at least not competitively or in a clinic.

I got my American Warmblood mare to ride Dressage and English Pleasure. I did jump her in low Hunter classes after she was backed and after I had trained her to ground drive with me running behind her, but again, after the previous falls and injuries from Sunny, it was better that I ride Dressage instead. She has been the best horse I have ever had. She will do anything and she was bomb-proof even when she was a baby.

Teri & Rocki, First Level Dressage

As of 2020, Rocki was still with me (she died in 2021 – see Tribute to Rocki), still had her Dressage topline, still a wonderful horse, and still going strong. Clydesdales mature late – Rocki was actually lazy until she turned 10!

In 2004, I had the ‘a-ha’ moment and learned how to ride correctly, as in, how to really ride Dressage and give with the arms/elbows, meld with the horse, inside leg to outside rein, half-halts, etc.

Boy was I excited when I finally felt this for longer than just a few minutes! I called my trainer, Kathy Daly of KDEquine Training, and excitedly told her that I now knew what she had been trying to get across to me since she had trained Rocki Dressage when Rocki was 3½.

Instead of it taking me 45 minutes to warm myself up while confusing my horse by hanging on the reins and not let him/her go forward INTO the reins, I can get on and have a great ride in 20 minutes, both my horse and I warmed up almost immediately. Rocki really thanked me — all I have to do is to think a movement and Rocki would comply… ahhhh… as was said, a true horse fanatic!

Tribute to Rocki

October 2020, Glenord’s Rocket Dancer, a.k.a. Rocki:

My horse was my COVID relief, until she died. I wasn’t ready for this yet.

I wanted to do the USDF Century Ride where the combination of her age and mine would equal 100. We needed just another year.

I keep thinking, “Well, I don’t have to get up and feed anymore.” It doesn’t help.

I’m mowing her front pasture and thinking about what to say in this tribute. I stop in the shade every so often and type on my phone.

Mowing, I still see places where her poop is. I try to mow it away but it still makes an indelible mark in my world. Just try not to clench my teeth as I mow. I don’t have many tears left now.

Geez, there’s a lot of stuff to write…
My Last Photo of 28yo Rocki. She is wet from a bath a couple days before she died.
It was a really hot day in Florida.

I had Rocki for almost 26 of her 28 years. Of all the horses I had in my life, she was the best. She was my baby. She was named ‘Baby’ when I got her at 2 1/2. I wanted to rename her and give her a registered American Warmblood name and it needed to be close to sounding like Baby. So I came up with Glenord’s Rocket Dancer after her sire, a registered Clydesdale, Clan Butter Glenord’s Glened, and a registered racing Appaloosa/TB, Rocket To Antares, a.k.a. barn name, Rocki. Sounds close to the sound of the word, Baby, right? Rocki. Baby. Rocki Baby.

This crossing gave her a beautiful head and small TB mouth and her body looked like a huge Appy/QH cross, so she was gorgeous for horse shows.

She died of colic. I’m afraid she suffered for 3 days. Vet thought it was a twisted long colon, and surgery wouldn’t have helped. Besides, she was too old for good recovery. I was too old to give her the care.

It started on a Saturday evening (never happens during a work day, but the weekend, amiright?). On-call veterinarian came out and did the typical oil/water rinse and shots for pain (Banamine). She never really got better. I was out with her most of the night. The next morning she was lying in the pasture, wet from sweating. More Banamine, hosing, magnets, TTouch, everything I could think of. By Monday morning, I had already called my regular vet to have her put down. Also called my neighbor, Chris, who organized another neighbor to bring his huge tractor to dig a hole in my back pasture to bury Rocki there.

She is buried along with 2 dogs and another horse, Metro, which I will tell you about here.

Rocki First Level I Second Place
Rocki First Level

Rocki Dressage Equitation

Content TOC List of Stuff to Do

List of ideas to put to writing.

  1. Rocki
  2. Barn
  3. Pastures
  4. Contact Us form
  5. Tack – DD
  6. Jason
  7. Eric
  8. Jerry
  9. Metro
  10. Mark
  11. Life with the Oaks
  12. Life in Tennessee
  13. Life in Live Oak
  14. Life at Florida State
  15. Life in Jacksonville
  16. Sailing
  17. Life in Keystone Heights
  18. Horse shows

Childhood Home – Log Cabin Build

My father was in construction and had an AA in building design (he had the nicest writing). He built our house, a log cabin built from the pine trees he felled on our 30 acres. He hauled the trees up to where the house was being built on a 4×4 timber on two iron wheels, pulled one by one by him by an attached chain. He used geometry and trigonometry to hoist the logs up. My mother went to Chicago Art Institute for two years, so she sketched the blueprints for the house.

He built the log cabin part of the house starting when I was a baby around 1950. It was about 1000 square feet (until he added on another 1000 sq. ft.), with a 20×20 living room, bathroom, utility room, attic and kitchen. We all slept in one end of the living room until a few months later when he added on a large cement based porch with scoring on the cement floor and big ceilings and structural beams. He screened the porch in so my brother and I could sleep there in the summer.

Inside log cabin living room after we had left, showing logs and cement filling painted white. With Florida windows, wooden floors and visible hand-hewn logs/braces on ceiling.

Of course it had a large fireplace – this was our heat in the beginning, until he installed an oil heater on the porch, feeding the house via floor registers and wall vents. I loved standing over the registers in the Winter to get warm quickly!

Back Porch Support Stanchion Covered in Ivy.
After We Moved in 2015.

A few years later he added on another 1000+ square feet for 3 bedrooms, one a huge master bedroom and bath (I kept the door to the master bedroom – 4 inch thick beautiful tongue and groove cut design and finish, when we moved to Keystone). This end of the house was a board and batten design to complement the log cabin. It also had a tilted flat roof.

When I was three, he built a man-made 65×45 pool, fed by artesian spring water constantly filling through a 2 inch pipe (it was fizzy when you drank from the pipe!). The water was powered by a water wheel he built using pecky cypress wood. My mom taught swimming lessons in the pool as a Brownie Scout leader.

I hope I can find more pictures of it close up, but below is a picture of my horse I had, Sunny, next to the water wheel and the huge bamboo we had planted. (I brought some of the bamboo to my new place and it’s also huge!)

Sunny next to bamboo and water wheel powering the filling of our pool.
Sunny next to bamboo and water wheel powering the filling of our pool (barely seen on the left).

A few years later, he made a huge 100×100 or more workshop. It had a cantilevered roof made with railroad telephone poles covered in creosote (rotting control), cement floor, an attached car port, long workbench and lumber storage built with the lumber 2×4, 4×4, etc. It was big enough to have a pit for working on your car.

(All of images below were taken after we had moved to Keystone Heights.)

pit to work on cars
Pit in floor of workshop to work on cars/trucks.
Stalls for Khan and Rocki built onto side of workshop.
Workshop ceiling showing stanchion cable supporting the large telephone pole beam.
Old, broken water wheel parts showing its pecky cypress wood in the overgrown bamboo.
Corner of house showing painted logs. All of this construction was built by hand.
Workshop from the backside. There are doors below the width the open window that opened up to take in hay bales, large equipment, etc.

About Me – Early Days

I was born and grew up on the south side of Jacksonville, Florida in the beautiful Mandarin area. I attended Loretto Elementary, DuPont Junior High, and Wolfson Senior High. I was a swimming nerd since my mom taught swimming lessons in our large natural pool built by my father, who also built our house, (more on the house). I was our high school’s swim team’s backstroke swimmer; I also swam relays, medleys, fly, breast, and crawl (terms date me).

When I was a baby, my mom had a horse, Glassy, who was so gentle that she would allow me to crawl around under her legs. I also had a baby goat friend! And always, we had three dogs that were able to run free since we lived way out in the country/woods (except for college and 6 months in a duplex, I’ve always lived in the country).

I grew up loving horses, reading every book there was at the library on horses and having hundreds of plastic or rubber horses, ranging from palm size to maybe 16 inch tall model horses like they had in the 1950s.

When in elementary school, I would walk over 3 miles every Tuesday after school to ride at a rental barn; I also rode some of my friends’ horses. Finally, when I was 12, I got a horse of my own, a 14.3 1/2 hand buckskin, part quarter horse, to learn to care for and retrain from being wild and always wanting to run and jig, to a horse that would walk and canter just from a lift on the reins. I did this from reading books and articles about horses.

My first saddle was a hard McClellan Army saddle (blech!) that I hated, so I rode bareback most of the time until I finally got Western saddle, then an English saddle in my later teens so I could jump things.

I would do everything on my horse ‘Scottie’ (short for Great Scott – I renamed him from Apache) – riding for miles all around my family’s 30 acres in the woods of Jacksonville/Mandarin/Greenland/Bayard Florida area, including going swimming bareback in the clear water of the barrow pits that were dug to build I-95 next to our land.

I would jump over 2 long pieces of skinny baseboard moulding spread out over the long side of 2 sawhorses that I set up as a jump. I would gallop over a 24+ natural jump course I made of piled up tree limbs and logs, spanning a couple of miles, weaving in and out of trees, ducking under low-hanging branches, sliding down a steep embankment, and generally being a adventurous, horse-loving teenager.

I would run barrels and do pole bending and competed at a saddle club where I would ride to on Friday nights with a group of others. The saddle club was about 8-10 miles from my house. I would meet up with the other riders about 3 miles from my house and we would all ride together. Then, I would ride back home in the dark by myself – something you would never let a young girl do in today’s world!

Glenord’s Rocket Dancer – Rocki

I have ridden all of my life and I am an absolute horse fanatic! I have ridden most disciplines. I had been a member of USDF, USAE, USEF, USET, and NFDA for many years. My mare was a Lifetime USDF/USEF member horse, an American Warmblood out of a champion Budweiser Clydesdale sire – Clan Butter Glenord’s Glened, crossed with a racing TB-Appaloosa mare, Rocket to Antares (going back to Native Dancer), whom I named Glenord’s Rocket Dancer or Rocki for her barn name.

Glenord’s Rocket Dancer aka Rocki

Rocki was the most amazing horse – she would do anything and she was bomb-proof, even when she was a baby. I rode her mostly Dressage and in English Pleasure and Equitation, and had also been working on Western Riding patterns too, which I find is very similar to Dressage. But alas, I have a back issue now that only allows me to ride Dressage since it is more upright and uses core muscles more. She was my absolute love as I had her for almost 22 years since she was 2 1/2 (1993 mare) until she passed in September 2019.

Glenord's Rocket Dancer or Rocki
Rocki’s Stall Name Plate
My son Jason being kissed on the neck by Rocki.

Read the Tribute to Rocki.